Final Post as Voice of the Capitals

CapitalsLogoBigWell, as many of you already know it was announced late last week that I have accepted a position with the Western Hockey League’s Lethbridge Hurricanes as their new play by play broadcaster on ROCK 106 in Lethbridge.

While the opportunity to jump to the WHL seems like an easy decision for an aspiring NHL play by play guy, it certainly was a difficult decision for me and my girlfriend, Taylor, who while only living in Duncan for a year grew to quickly love the community and life style. For myself, being originally from the Comox Valley – which in some ways is very similar to the Cowichan Valley – it was great living in Duncan and being close to home and great weather. For Taylor, who is originally from Chilliwack, it’s a little bit further but it was still so nice living here. And while not only the decision about location and life style, but comfort-ability in the work place was a major factor.

Working with the Capitals and everyone in the organization was a joy. The new Sales and Marketing Director Gord Schmidt was a lot of fun to work with in the office as well as the girls Amy Blatchford and Bria Chipman were nice company. The hockey operations staff from the coaches Bob Beatty (who I worked with in La Ronge), Aaron Plumb, Rob DeClark, and Darren Rodney who always made me feel welcome and apart of the team on the road. Bunking with Curtis Hawkins on the road, the teams athletic therapist, was so much fun – even though he’s a massive San Jose Sharks fan, and I’m a diehard Canucks fan – I still say Markus Naslund is a better #19 than Joe Thornton – even though Curtis disagrees…. As well all the players who were always nice to me and accommodated me with doing interviews, even with Jesse Neher dropping the “no comment” line every time I saw him. As well as working with all the other coaches and broadcasters in the league who made everything so much easier when we were on the road and helping with name pronunciations. Even everyone at 89.7 SUN FM who made it fun every time I went into the station (Rob, Patti, Josh, Gord, Liz, and so on), especially Troy Scott who was the one that hired me to call Caps games…. And the one-and-only Alex Robertson who I was fortunate enough to build a great working relationship with, but more importantly friendship with, during the season. Calling the games with a legend in these parts made me a better broadcaster and person, and I value his friendship — all of that made it a difficult decision, maybe harder than I had ever anticipated.

However, with all of that said, I am very excited about the new opportunity to make another step up the ladder in the play by play broadcasting industry that at only 23 I have managed to move along relatively quickly. My goal was to obtain a WHL job by the age of 25, so to have that opportunity is shocking to be honest this fast. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that being just two years removed from calling Junior-B hockey I would be able to say I’m a Western Hockey League broadcaster, but hey, here I am. To think, it was just two years ago when I was interning at The Zone at 91.3 in Victoria working with Marlon Martens on the Victoria Royals broadcasts.

While only at the young age of 23, there is certainly one thing that I have been able to learn about the broadcasting industry, and life for that matter, is that it changes quickly and it is a crazy ride. And I just hope that things continue to move along in the right way and that one day I can be sitting in a broadcast booth preparing to call a National Hockey League game and be able to think back to the days when I was sitting in the Island Savings Centre next to  Alex Robertson getting ready to call a Cowichan Capitals game “live from the Big Stick.”

It was a great one year, much shorter than I thought it might be, but I’m ecstatic about the new adventure.

Caps 2014/15 Regular Season Set!

bchlscheduleThe Cowichan Capitals Hockey Club, in conjunction with the British Columbia Hockey League, announced today the 2014/2015 regular season schedule. The Capitals regular season will begin Friday, September 19th at the third annual Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, BC, against the Vernon Vipers. Their home opener will be Friday, September 26th against the Victoria Grizzlies.

The Capitals will play a total of 58 regular season games, including two (one home and one road game) at the Bauer BCHL Showcase in Chilliwack, BC, to begin the season. The Caps will play 28 home games at the Island Savings Centre (ISC) and 28 road games this year.

The BCHL once again will see an inter-locking schedule that will see more games within the division then the others. The Capitals will play the Alberni Valley Bulldogs eight times (four at home, four away); the Nanaimo Clippers eight times (four at home, four away); the Powell River Kings nine times (five at home, four on the road); and the Victoria Grizzlies nine times (four at home, five away).

The Capitals will play all other teams in the Mainland and Interior Division’s once during the season, one home and one away, with the exception of the Vernon Vipers and the Merritt Centennials, who the Capitals face at the Showcase.

HOME DATES TO REMEMBER:
Friday, September 19 – Season Opener, vs. Vernon Vipers @ Bauer BCHL Showcase
Friday, September 26 – Home Opener, vs. Victoria Grizzlies
Saturday, October 11 – vs. 2014 Fred Page Cup Champion, Coquitlam Express
Wednesday, October 29 – First home game vs. Nanaimo Clippers
Sunday, November 9 – vs. Penticton Vees
Wednesday, February 25 – Season Finale, vs. Victoria Grizzlies

OTHER SCHEDULING NOTES:
The longest home stand for the Capitals will span a total of five games from October 25th until November 9th that will see five different teams enter the ISC. The longest set of road games in a row will take place early in the season from October 3rd until October 10th spanning five straight road games.

The Capitals will play seven Friday games, seven Saturday games, seven Sunday games, and seven mid-week home games.

Caps Commit Another

Santerno1The busy few weeks continue for the Cowichan Capitals as they have announced yet another commitment for the fast approaching 2014/15 hockey season.

The Capitals announced today that they have grabbed 18-year-old forward Luke Santerno from the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s 100 Mile House Wranglers. Last year, Santerno lead the Wranglers in points with 45 (24g-21a), he led the team in points, goals and power play goals with ten.

It’s a great pick up for the Capitals as he is a player that adds size and skill with a 6’3, 185 pound body and a pretty good shot.

Here is the release from the Capitals:

Duncan, BC – The Cowichan Capitals Hockey Club is pleased to announce that forward Luke Santerno (’96) has committed for the 2014/2015 hockey season.

Santerno, 18, spent the 2013/14 hockey season with the 100 Mile House Wranglers of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) and led the Wranglers in scoring with 45 points (24g-21a) along with 18 penalty minutes in 47 games. He led the team in goals (24), points (45), and power play goals (10). Santerno added seven points (5g-2a) in eight playoff games for 100 Mile House.

“I’m really excited, I’m looking forward to being on the [Capitals] and playing in the [BCHL],” said Santerno. “My coach from midget [Brendan Hutchinson] used to play there and he had a bunch of great things say about the team so we talked about it for a while with my parents and him and decided this was a good choice to make.”

The Smithers, BC, native was named the Rookie of the Year in the KIJHL’s Doug Birks Division this past season. Santerno adds size and skill to the Capitals forward group with a 6’3”, 185 pound frame and the ability to change a game on his own.

“Luke is a forward with a great set of hands and good offensive instincts,” said Capitals Head Coach and General Manager Bob Beatty. “Luke was coached by former Capitals Captain Brendan Hutchinson in midget hockey in Smithers and has a year of Junior-B under his belt. We like the combination of size and skill that Luke brings and feel he will develop into a top end forward in the BCHL.”

Santerno also appeared in five BCHL games last season as an affiliate with the Merritt Centennials, one of those games in Duncan against the Capitals.

When asked what he remembered about the Island Savings Centre, Santerno joked, “I don’t really remember much but I remember it was a nice rink with a good atmosphere in it… and I missed on a breakaway, but other than that it was pretty good.”

The Capitals would like to welcome Santerno to the organization.

CapitalsLogoBig

Bauer BCHL Showcase

bchlThe BCHL announced today the schedule for the third straight Bauer BCHL Showcase that will once against be held at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack, BC.

The Cowichan Capitals will kick off the 2014/2015 hockey season with the first game of the BCHL year against the Interior Division’s Vernon Vipers at 3:30pm on Friday, September 19th. The Capitals will play their second game Saturday, September 20th at 11:30am against the Merritt Centennials.

Here is the release sent out by the BCHL today:

For the third straight season, the Bauer BCHL Showcase comes to Prospera Centre in Chilliwack and the dates and matchups are all set.

All 16 BCHL teams will come to the Fraser Valley Sept. 19 to 21 to start off the season with two games each that will count in the regular season standings. The first two Showcase events drew strong attendance from both NHL and NCAA scouts. The same is expected this time around.

“The Showcase has proven to be a popular event for both the people looking for talent and also the teams and players,” said BCHL communications director Brent Mutis. “The chance for scouts to see all players under one roof in one weekend is extremely valuable and the City of Chilliwack has been an ideal host for this event each of the last two years.”

2014 Bauer BCHL Showcase schedule:

Friday, Sept. 19:

  • 3:30pm Vernon Vipers vs. Cowichan Valley Capitals  Secondary Rink
  • 4pm Salmon Arm Silverbacks vs. Langley Rivermen    Main Rink
  • 7pm Coquitlam Express vs. West Kelowna Warriors   Secondary Rink
  • 7:30pm Penticton Vees vs. Surrey Eagles
    Main Rink

Saturday, Sept. 20:

 

  • 11:30am Cowichan Valley Capitals vs. Merritt Centennials – Secondary Rink
  • 12:00pm Trail Smoke Eaters vs. Coquitlam Express      Main Rink
  • 3pm Alberni Valley Bulldogs vs. Penticton Vees      Secondary Rink
  • 3:30pm Victoria Grizzlies vs. Vernon Vipers               Main Rink
  • 6:30pm Nanaimo Clippers vs. Prince George Spruce Kings – Secondary Rink
  • 7pm Chilliwack Chiefs vs. Powell River Kings
    Main Rink

Sunday, Sept. 21:

  • 10:30am Powell River Kings vs. Trail Smoke Eaters      Secondary Rink
  • 11am Prince George Spruce Kings vs. Alberni Valley Bulldogs – Main Rink
  • 2pm Langley Rivermen vs. Victoria Grizzlies         
    Secondary Rink
  • 2:30pm West Kelowna Warriors vs. Nanaimo Clippers   Main Rink
  • 5:30pm Surrey Eagles vs. Salmon Arm Silverbacks       Secondary Rink
  • 6pm Merritt Centennials vs. Chilliwack Chiefs
    Main Rink

Big Week in Cap-Land

mason-cowichanvalleycitizen

Photo courtesy: Cowichan Valley Citizen

What a week it has been for the Cowichan Capitals! Two trades, a college commit from last year and a commitment from a stud defenseman.

It was announced that Mason Malkowich, who played his final year of junior hockey with the Caps last year, has committed to the Brock University Badgers for the upcoming season. Malkowich, 20, will be missed as he sat fourth in team scoring with 33 points, and tied for third in goals with 14 in 40 games playing the majority of those on the Caps top line with Myles Powell and Dane Gibson who both won’t be back.

In a release, Malkowich said, “I’m thankful that coach Beatty gave me an opportunity to come back and prove myself in this league, which was a goal of mine and I’m proud of what I accomplished there,” he said.

Malkowich added, “I’m excited for the opportunity to go to a school like Brock University and I’m excited to go down there and pursue my education and play hockey at a high level. It was my goal from day one in junior hockey to obtain something like this that included me playing hockey and I’m glad it’s at a school like Brock University.”

The Capitals will miss his offensive punch and leadership next season as “Malky” was named an Assistant Captain replacing Steen Cooper when he was shipped to Penticton.

Photo courtesy: Times Colonist

Photo courtesy: Times Colonist

While Malkowich is off to school like his centreman Myles Powell who is committed to the Rochester Institute of Technology, the third member of that forward line, Dane Gibson, was shipped off to Island rival Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for future considerations and Jacob Kearley.

Kearley, 19, was a rookie last season with the “Grizz” and did not look out of place. The 6’4, 220 pound rear-guard collected 26 points (6g-20a) in 57 games with Victoria while adding an additional eight points (4g-4a) in the post-season before the Grizzlies fell in the three-team round robin playoff format. Not only will he add size and grit on the blue line, he is a good skater for a bigger d-man and will be able to quarter-back a power play and jump up on the rush.

Capitals Head Coach and General Manager, Bob Beatty had this to say about the Newmarket, ON, native, “We are extremely pleased to add Jacob to our D-core. There aren’t many players that have the combination of skill, size, and character that this young man has.”

Bechtold in Black

Bechtold in Black

While the Capitals lose the soon-to-be 20-year-old forward in Gibson, Beatty wasn’t finished wheeling-and-dealing as he acquired 20-year-old Alex Bechtold and future considerations from the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s, Drumheller Dragons. Going the other way was defenseman Clint Filbrandt who turns 19 in July.

Bechtold will be a great addition to the Caps who had a tough time last year competing physically at times as the Strathmore, AB, native will be a bruiser up front, with the ability to pot the big goal. Bechtold weighs in at 206 pounds while standing 6’1. The AJHL vet picked up 23 points (10g-13a) with the Dragons last year, but had a stellar playoff tallying 12 points (5g-7a) in 13 playoff games to finish fourth in team scoring in the post-season.

“Alex is a big, strong, power forward and he’s an extremely hard working player that is excited to join the club,” said Capitals Head Coach and General Manager, Bob Beatty. “He is developing a reputation of being a big game player and we are excited to add him to our group.”

Thanks to the Stapley family for the photo

Thanks to the Stapley family for the photo

The old adage is, “you have to give up something good to get something good,” and while the Caps dealt a d-man with offensive upside in Clint Filbrandt to acquire Bechtold, the Capitals quickly replaced Filbrandt’s role with a commitment of a puck mover from the BCMML’s Vancouver Northwest Giants by the name of Mitchell Stapley.

Stapley, 17, had a great year last year with the Northwest Giants scoring 33 points (5g-28a) in 39 games to finish seventh in league scoring among defenseman while being named to the BCMML All Star team.

Stapley, who resides in North Vancouver, but is originally from Campbell River on Vancouver Island comes from a hockey family. Mitch and his younger brother Brett have both been drafted in the WHL Bantam draft. Mitch was selected by the Vancouver Giants in 2012, while his younger brother was taken by the Calgary Hitmen in this years draft.

The Island native is happy to play on the Island again, “I’m very excited and I look forward to suiting up for the [Capitals] next season,” said Stapley. “I hope to be an impact player right away and do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Additions and subtractions for the Capitals this week, and you can bet there will be more of both in the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2014/15 hockey season that will kick off September 19th in Chilliwack at the Bauer BCHL Showcase.

CapitalsLogoBig

Capitals Acquire Kearley & Futures for Gibson

Photo courtesy: Times Colonist

Photo courtesy: Times Colonist

The Cowichan Capitals Hockey Club have acquired the CJHL playing rights of defenseman Jacob Kearley (’95) and future considerations from the Victoria Grizzlies in exchange for the CJHL playing rights of forward Dane Gibson (’94).

Kearley, 19, joins the Capitals with a year of BCHL experience with Victoria. In 57 games, he accumulated 26 points (6g-20a) along with 46 penalty minutes. Kearley added another eight points (4g-4a) in 16 playoff games with the Grizzlies last season.

The Newmarket, Ontario native not only gives the Capitals an offensive upside on a defense that lost Jarrett Brown to University, and Matthew Berry-Lamontagna, Blake Butzow, and Reilly O’Connor who all aged out, but Kearley also adds size and grit with a 6’4”, 220 pound frame.

“We are extremely pleased to add Jacob to our D-core,” said Capitals Head Coach and General Manager, Bob Beatty. There aren’t many players that have the combination of skill, size, and character that this young man has.”

Gibson had a career year this past season with the Capitals collecting 53 points (20g-33a) in 57 games to sit second in team scoring and goals, while leading the Capitals with nine power play goals.

“We would like to thank Dane Gibson for his contribution over the past two years and wish him continued personal success,” said Beatty.

The Capitals would like to thank Gibson for his efforts of the last two years and would like to welcome Kearley to the Capitals family.

Caps Get By Grizzlies 6-4

caps     vs.     Grizzlies

CAPITALS (22-29-2-4)     vs.     Victoria Grizzlies (36-15-3-3)

Opening Faceoff

Opening Faceoff

The Cowichan Capitals hosted the Victoria Grizzlies in their final home game of the regular season with a playoff spot on the line, and the Capitals picked up a massive 6-4 victory in front of a massive crowd at the Big Stick.

Gusse

Gusse

Four players had two or more points in the hockey game for the Capitals: Jesse Neher (2A), Mason Malkowich (1G/1A), Kyle Horsman (1G/1A), and Myles Powell (1G/2A).

Caps Defend

Caps Defend

It was a tentative start to the game in what had a game seven playoff like atmosphere. Both teams played strong defensively in what was a chess match early on. But the Capitals broke the scoreless game late in the first as Daniel Wanner scored his fourth of the year with just 21.8 seconds left in the period. Wanner banged home a bounce off the end wall and buried to give the Caps a lead after one – Horsman and Neher picked up the helpers. Victoria out shot Cowichan 12-8 in the first period.

Kehler Flying

Kehler Flying

Much the same carried over in the second period as both teams attempted to play mistake-free hockey. And again, the Capitals got on the board as Powell scored his team-leading 21st goal of the year at the 11:12 mark. Dane Gibson created a turnover behind the net, slipped it to Malkowich who found Powell in front. Caps lead 2-0 after two periods. Grizzlies out shot the Capitals 15-10 in the second.

Caps Score in Front of Large Crowd

Caps Score in Front of Large Crowd

Things broke open in the third period as the teams combined for eight goals. Victoria’s Gerry Fitzgerald scored a goal just 1:08 into the frame to make it 2-1. Then, the Capitals scored back-to-back goals 37 seconds apart. First it was Malkowich’s 14th, quickly followed by Horsman’s 11th to give the Caps a 4-1 lead. However, in a span of less than three minutes, the Grizzlies scored twice to make it 4-3 as Rory McGuire beat Robin Gusse from the high slot before Mark McLellan scored a shorthanded goal. But, 45 seconds later while on the same power play, Colton Kehler roofed his 14th of the season quickly followed by a Reilly O’Connor rebound to make it 6-3. Leo Fitzgerald scored a late third period power play goal to make the final a 6-4 decision.

Capitals out shot the Grizzlies 16-11 in the third period, but Victoria held the edge in shots in the game 38-34.

Caps Attack

Caps Attack

Capitals went 1/2 on the power play in the game, while the Grizzlies went 1/3.

Three Stars of the game in the building were:

1) Capitals – #22 Myles Powell – 1G/2A
2) Capitals – #4 Mason Malkowich – 1G/1A
3) Capitals – #17 Kyle Horsman – 1G/1A

The Fortis BC Energy Palyer of the Game was the Capitals #14 Jesse Neher.

Neher Controls

Neher Controls

The Capitals with the win improve to 22-29-2-4 on the season, and leapfrog the idle Alberni Valley Bulldogs for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Island Division. The Capitals have 50 points, the Bulldogs 49.

A single point in the Capitals final game Saturday night in Victoria against the Grizzlies and the Capitals will qualify for the post-season. Game time is 7:15pm.

You can hear the Capitals season finale live on 89.7 SUN FM.

Final Score

Final Score